|Publication number||US6945402 B1|
|Application number||US 09/720,659|
|Publication date||Sep 20, 2005|
|Filing date||May 4, 2000|
|Priority date||May 4, 1999|
|Also published as||CA2335905A1, CA2335905C, DE60012845D1, DE60012845T2, EP1094976A1, EP1094976B1, WO2000066455A1|
|Publication number||09720659, 720659, PCT/2000/1200, PCT/FR/0/001200, PCT/FR/0/01200, PCT/FR/2000/001200, PCT/FR/2000/01200, PCT/FR0/001200, PCT/FR0/01200, PCT/FR0001200, PCT/FR001200, PCT/FR2000/001200, PCT/FR2000/01200, PCT/FR2000001200, PCT/FR200001200, US 6945402 B1, US 6945402B1, US-B1-6945402, US6945402 B1, US6945402B1|
|Original Assignee||L'oreal S.A.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (26), Referenced by (12), Classifications (9), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention relates to a unit, for example, for cosmetic treatment, comprising at least two elements to be brought into contact with one another before being applied to a support, and to the use of such a unit for applying the product obtained from the elements to the support, for example, the skin or the hair.
The unit at which the present invention is aimed is of the type comprising a flexible outer container, for example, in the form of a flexible-walled outer sachet forming a receptacle for the elements. More specifically, at least one of the elements is an inner sachet with rupturable walls, in which is packaged a liquid product that is to be kept away from the ambient air and/or from the other element. At least one of the other elements arranged in the reservoir comprises an absorbent structure. If appropriate, the reservoir may also contain a powder or paste, or alternatively another liquid.
The unit according to the invention is designed for applying a product that results from a number of separately packaged starting elements being brought into contact “in situ”. In particular, the resulting product may be a mask or a wipe impregnated with at least one product, for example, a liquid. More specifically, it may be an absorbent structure, for example, of the wipe, woven gauze, nonwoven or foam type, which may or may not be impregnated with a cosmetically or dermo-pharmaceutically active agent.
The unit at which the invention is aimed can be used, for example, in the context of a treatment for preventing or treating the signs of aging of the skin, such as wrinkles and fine lines, signs of fatigue, particularly those on the face, the neck, or the décolletage, or alternatively for performing a slimming treatment on certain parts of the body. Thus, a unit such as this can be used for a slimming treatment on the hips, thighs, and/or stomach, for a breast-firming treatment, for treating cellulite and adiposity, or simply for cleaning the skin.
The parts of the face at which the invention is aimed may be wrinkles around the eyes, such as crow's-feet at the outer corners of the eyes, shadows, and bags under the eyes, wrinkles or fine lines at the corners of the mouth, etc.
A unit such as this may also be used for dying hair by oxidation or for permanent-waving hair. This kind of product is usually made up of at least two liquid components which are to be kept separately and mixed just before use and fixed on an absorbent support during use.
WO 94/03369 discloses a packaging unit comprising a flexible outer container in which are arranged two elements: a foam dental application member and an internal sachet filled with liquid. The outer container is formed of two superposed thermoplastic sheets, the edges of the first sheet being welded, in a sealed manner, to the corresponding edges of the second sheet. The internal sachet is made of a material which has a pre-weakened zone which bursts under the action of a pressure exerted via the walls of the outer container. One of the edges of the inner sachet is sandwiched and welded between two edges of the outer container, so as to immobilize the sachet inside the container.
One of the drawbacks of an arrangement such as this stems from the fact that the welding of the edge of the pouch between the edges of the outer container constitutes a weakening of the sealing, or even a risk of leakage, which may, in particular, occur before the inner pouch is opened upon application of the pressure. Furthermore, according to WO 94/03369, the choice of material of which the pouch can be made is limited because this material has to be compatible with the material of which the walls of the outer container are made, even though it is desirable, in particular, for this material to be chosen according to the nature of the substance contained in the pouch.
Furthermore, this unit has the drawback that the pre-weakened zone of the pouch constitutes a risk of permeability for certain substances which may cause premature contact or deactivation of some other component present in the container. This is, in particular, the case when the substance in the pouch is a strong oxidizing or reducing agent capable of degrading the other component.
Finally, this pre-weakened zone is difficult to control so as to ensure that it ruptures at a determined pressure on the pouch. This means that the compression force needed to open it may vary from one pouch to another.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,907,173 discloses a flexible container containing a first liquid and a sachet filled with a second liquid. The sachet can rupture so as to allow the two liquids to be brought into contact with a view to obtaining a cooling mixture. Fixed to the interior walls of the container is a layer which enhances diffusion of the mixture. It is not intended for the outer container to be opened in order to access the products packaged in this container.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,638,786 describes packaging which, by exothermal reaction of several appropriate liquid components, makes it possible to obtain a hot mousse. This pack aging comprises a first outer sachet of flexible structure and containing a first liquid. In addition, a second sachet filled with a second liquid is arranged inside the first sachet. The second sachet can rupture so as to cause the two liquids to be brought into contact with a view to obtaining a foaming mixture that is to be applied to a support after the first sachet has been opened.
Elsewhere, WO 96/28262 describes a cleaning unit comprising an outer receptacle separately containing a number of cleaning cloths and a liquid with which to impregnate the cloths. The liquid is packaged in a pocket formed by a sheet and an internal face of the wall of the outer receptacle. The sheet is arranged facing the cloths. It comprises opening means to cause the liquid to flow out over the cloths. This unit is limited in its use to liquids of low viscosity. The impregnation of the cloths, at least initially, is non-uniform.
One of the objects of the present invention therefore includes providing a treatment unit that makes it possible, reliably, to store separately at least one absorbent element and at least one element, preferably liquid, and to allow them to be brought into contact away from the ambient air. The invention is aimed in particular at uniform impregnation of the absorbent element by the liquid, and for this to be the case regardless of the consistency of this liquid.
Another problem that the present invention sets out to solve is that of being able to have one or more sachets inside the container and for this to be the case regardless of the nature of the material of which they are made. The sachets at which the invention is aimed must, in particular, be perfectly sealed against the product they package during transport and during the storage period.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a treatment unit suited, for example, for treating the skin or the hair, from at least two basic elements to be brought into contact with one another extemporaneously and thereafter applied to the skin or to the hair.
The subject of the present invention is a unit for packaging at least one absorbent structure, for example, a wipe, a patch, or a mask. The absorbent structure may be impregnated with a liquid composition, of which at least one component, optionally liquid, is packaged separately from the said absorbent structure. The absorbent structure may be intended, after impregnation with the said liquid composition, to be applied to a support, for example, the skin or the hair. The unit may comprise a flexible-walled container containing the said absorbent structure and at least one sachet containing the at least one component. The sachet may be capable of opening in response to pressure exerted on it via the flexible walls of the container, so as to cause the absorbent structure to become impregnated with the liquid composition containing the component. The sachet and the absorbent structure may be free inside the container, and the container may be designed so that it can be opened so that the absorbent structure thus impregnated can be extracted so that it can be applied to the support.
Within the meaning of the present application, an absorbent structure is understood to mean a structure that can become impregnated with the liquid composition over at least part of its depth. Such an absorption mechanism may be by pumping, for example, capillary pumping in the pores or micropores of the absorbent structure. As a preference, the volume of liquid composition is sufficient to completely saturate the absorbent structure. Such an absorbent structure may be preimpregnated with one or more active ingredients, which may have been dehydrated. Alternatively, before being brought into contact with the component or components contained separately in the sachet, the absorbent structure may be directly in contact with one or more liquid or non-liquid components forming part of the liquid composition that is to be applied to the support.
The flexible-walled outer container must be strong enough that it does not open under the effect of the pressure that has to be exerted on its walls in order to cause the opening of the sachet(s) it contains.
Also, according to one embodiment, the container and the sachet may be closed along at least one sealed edge. The resistance of the sealed edge of the container to pressure may be significantly higher than the resistance of the sealed edge of the sachet(s) to pressure.
Thus, the elements may be brought into contact inside the container by the rupturing of at least one edge of the sachet in response to the pressure exerted on the sachet via the flexible walls of the container.
In general, the sachet or sachets may comprise at least one sheet whose edges are welded or bonded. When such a sachet is formed of a single sheet, this is folded on itself and the edges facing each other are sealed together. A sheet such as this may include a layer of appropriate material, for example, thermoplastic, or be formed of a multilayer complex sheet. The nature of the material of which such a sachet is formed may vary according to the nature of the product it contains.
As a preference, the sachet or sachets are formed of two superposed sheets, for example, rectangular, sealed together around their entire periphery.
According to another embodiment, the sachet or sachets is or are made of a thermoplastic film, at least one of the sealed edges being capable of opening in response to the pressure exerted via the flexible walls of the container. For this purpose, the width of one of the sealed edges may be less than the sealed width of the other edges. Alternatively, it is possible to perform this sealing in a Perforated way, for example, producing a goffered structure.
According to one embodiment, the container comprises a detachable portion allowing it to be opened and allowing the extraction of the absorbent structure impregnated with one or more liquid components.
According to yet another embodiment, the container comprises an opening which is closed reversibly by a self-adhesive sticker which the user removes in order to open the container and then repositions after use in order to close the container again.
According to another embodiment, the outer container may be made of at least one sheet comprising at least one thermoplastic layer. Optionally, the sheet may be made of a multilayer complex, for example, of the thermoplastic/metal/thermoplastic or the polyethylene terephthalate/polyethylene/ceramic/polyethylene (PET/PE/SiOx/PE) type. This container may be embodied in a similar way to the sachet, by heat-sealing together the edges by welding. The sheet may be transparent or translucent, allowing the elements packaged in the container to be seen.
According to one embodiment of the invention, the outer container comprises a body whose dimensions are markedly greater than the dimensions of the sachet (or sachets) it contains. It advantageously has a flexibility such that once the sachet or sachets has or have been opened, manual mixing of the product from the sachet with the absorbent structure can be performed by the user. This is important when each product initially contained in the sachet(s) has a high viscosity.
According to yet another embodiment of the invention, an absorbent structure may comprise at least one layer of woven or nonwoven material, of an item of open-cell or semi-open-cell foam, or of a felt. Optionally, this layer may have a relatively small thickness, for example, a thickness ranging from about 0.1 mm to about 3 mm.
According to another embodiment of the invention, the layer of woven or nonwoven material may be formed of natural or synthetic fibres, such as fibres of cotton, rayon, viscose, or mixtures thereof with fibres of polypropylene or polyester. Thus, their ability to absorb liquid and/or their mechanical strength can be adjusted.
According to yet another embodiment of the invention, the absorbent structure is cut to shape according to the configuration of the support that is to be treated.
In order to place the absorbent structure in the container, the sachet may be folded so as to define at least two flaps between which the absorbent structure is arranged. Through this arrangement, the sachet may be made easier to open in response to compression, and the absorbent structure becomes more readily impregnated. The flaps of the sachet may delimit two distinct compartments capable of opening in response to the pressure. In this case, each compartment may contain one and the same active ingredient at the same or different concentration, or may alternatively contain different active ingredients.
Where several sachets are arranged in the container, they may be secured together by their respective welded edges.
According to one embodiment, at least one of the faces of the sachet may be in contact with an element, preferably a rigid element, capable of encouraging the sachet(s) to open in response to the pressure.
Thus, the sachet(s) may be arranged between two portions of a rigid or semi-rigid element, for example, one in the shape of a clip. In this case, the portions of the said element are deformable, particularly elastically, so as to be able to be brought closer together and cause the opening of the sachet which they enclose.
As appropriate, prior to it being brought into contact with the component contained in the sachet, the absorbent structure may be impregnated with at least one cosmetically or dermo-pharmaceutically active agent chosen from thickeners, gelling agents, surfactants, physiologically compatible solvents, water, mono- or polyalcohols, oils, pH regulators, emulsifiers, dry extracts of biological origin; collagens and their derivatives, possibly freeze-dried, agents which stimulate the microcirculation in the dermis or angiogenesis, agents for smoothing out wrinkles or proteins. This active agent may be preimpregnated into the absorbent structure or arranged around it.
According to another embodiment, the component contained in the sachet may be a liquid containing at least one cosmetically or dermo-pharmaceutically active agent chosen from vitamins, slimming agents or fat catabolizers, enzymes, moisturizing agents, anti-ageing agents, anti-wrinkle agents, UV filters, etc., more specifically chosen from vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, or their derivatives, alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids or their derivatives, citric acid or its derivatives, essential oils, caffeine, kojic acid, hydroquinone, nicotinic acid esters, beta-carotene, urea, glycerol, proplylene glycol, etc.
In a container containing multiple sachets, several cosmetically or dermo-pharmaceutically active components which may be mutually incompatible or incompatible with a liquid, pasty, or solid component contained in addition to the absorbent structure directly in the container may be packaged in complete safety.
A unit according to the invention may also be used for packaging a hair dye or permanent-waving solution. In the case of a hair dye, the container may, in addition to the absorbent structure, contain dye precursors, it being possible for the sachet to contain a liquid oxidizing agent.
In the case of a permanent wave, the sachet may contain a liquid reducing agent, such as thioglycolic acid and its derivatives, and the container may contain a number of wipes configured to be impregnated with the reducing agent. Such impregnated wipes may be placed around a curler before a lock of hair is wound around it.
The flexible container may contain several sachets each containing a liquid component of the same kind or of different kinds. When the sachets contain the same component, the user may himself choose the concentration of active ingredient by causing an appropriate number of sachets to open. This may be achieved right from the start, at the time of first use, or gradually during use, for example, to increase the active ingredient concentration during a treatment cycle. In the latter instance, a number of wipes are arranged in the container.
When several sachets contain components of different and mutually incompatible natures, the mixture of these components, obtained by the user kneading the outer container, may be brought into contact with the absorbent structure. Thus, a mask may, at the same time, be impregnated with a vitamin and with an active moisturizer, these being components which in the long term would neutralize each other if they were packaged together in the same volume.
The treatment unit which has just been described can be used to apply a product that is the result of several elements of the kind mentioned above being brought into contact, particularly to treat the human skin and its superficial body growths.
For example, this treatment unit can be used for treating signs of ageing of the skin, cellulite, adiposity, afflictions of the skin, the scalp, the mucous membranes, or the nails.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent in detail upon reading the description which will follow of a number of embodiments of the invention which are given by way of purely illustrative and entirely non-limiting examples, depicted in the appended drawings.
In this drawing:
In these Figures, parts which are identical or fulfill a similar role bear the same reference numerals.
With reference to
The unit 1 comprises an outer container 2 in the form of a flexible sachet. The outer container 2 is formed of two superposed flexible sheet 3 a, 3 b (see
The sheets 3 a and 3 b are flexible and each may comprise a thermoplastic layer or a complex with several thermoplastic layers comprising, as appropriate, a metallic layer, such as a film of aluminium. The choice of these sheets depends on the chemical nature of the elements arranged inside the said container.
Two elements A and B are packaged inside the outer container 2. According to the embodiment in question, the element A consists of an absorbent wipe made of a woven or nonwoven material. The wipe A can be impregnated with a liquid of greater or lesser viscosity. The wipe A may furthermore be preimpregnated with an active cosmetic or dermatological ingredient or a cosmetically or dermo-pharmaceutically acceptable excipient.
The element B is liquid and packaged in a sachet 4, which sachet is arranged freely inside the container 2. The sachet 4, distinctly smaller in size than the outer container 2, is formed of two deformable flexible sheets, sealing of which is provided by sealing the edges 4 a–4 d. These sheets consist of a single-layer or multi-layer material chosen according to the nature of the liquid B, to provide the best preservation conditions. At least one of the seals along the edges 4 a–4 d has resistance to the internal pressure of the sachet lower than the resistance that the sealed edges 2 a–2 d of the outer container 2 exhibit to the pressure inside the container. For this purpose, this (or these) edge(s) 4 a–4 d is (are) made of a narrower weld line or of a goffered or striated weld line.
The unit 1 may be manufactured as follows: two superposed sheets 3 a, 3 b are fixed by thermally welding the edges 2 a, 2 c and 2 d. With the unit inverted, the elements A and B are introduced through the open bottom (2 b), which can be done, as appropriate, under partial vacuum or in the presence of a protective inert gas. It must be clearly understood that other appropriate methods of manufacture may be employed.
The sachet 4 can be produced by continuous manufacture, for example, using a sheath filled with the liquid B that is to be packaged. By transversely clamping the sheath, followed by thermal welding through the stream of product, a succession of mutually aligned compartments is packaged (see also
The outer container 2 may advantageously be made of a transparent or translucent material, allowing the user to identify the position of the sachet(s) 4.
When the user wishes to apply the product, he compresses the sachet 4 between thumb and index finger through the flexible wall of the outer container 2, so as to unfasten a weld zone of the sachet 4. In general, the opening of the sachet 4 is accompanied by an audible bursting noise, which constitutes an acoustic indicator that the component B has been released. By kneading the outer container 2, the user may, as appropriate, improve the uniform impregnation of the 10 element A with the liquid B. Having opened the outer container, for example using scissors or by tearing along a pre-weakened line 10, the impregnated element A can be extracted from the outer container and applied to the desired area. Advantageously, the pre-weakened line opens to a notch 11 making the outer container easier to open.
Upon contact with the component B, the mask rehydrates and becomes impregnated with active ingredients contained in the sachet 4. It must be clearly understood that a number of sachets 4 may be arranged in the container, which sachets contain identical components or different components.
Being able to place a variable number of sachets inside the container is advantageous from the industrial point of view because this makes it possible, starting from the same type of sachet (and containing the same product), to obtain final products with variable concentration and therefore activity suited to the specific requirements of the user. According to one particular mode of use, this makes it possible to perform a treatment cycle with progressive concentration. For example, the concentration in active ingredient may be increased periodically, for example, each day, by opening an additional sachet.
On the inside, the outer container 2 contains a sachet 4 containing a first liquid B and an absorbent wipe A2. The outer container 2 also contains a second liquid A1 in which the sachet 4 and the wipe A2 are “bathed”. This unit therefore makes it possible, having opened the sachet 4, to impregnate the wipe A2 with a mixture formed “in situ”, by the components A1 and B.
The invention provides a great deal of freedom as regards the bringing of several elements of different respective nature, consistency, structure, solubility, or compatibility into contact, and does so according to varying modes of application suited to the individual requirements of the user.
Thus, the invention, in its various embodiments, may make it possible to impregnate one or more absorbent structures with at least one liquid active ingredient, to bring at least one preimpregnated absorbent structure into contact with at least one liquid active ingredient, to impregnate an absorbent structure with two liquids which are not soluble one in the other, to impregnate an absorbent structure with a mixture of several active ingredients which have to be stored separately and mixed just before their use, and to package one and the same active ingredient at varying concentrations in different sachets.
It may also be possible, when impregnating the absorbent structure, to dissolve a powder in at least one liquid component. The powder may be stable in solid form and degrade rapidly when in solution. The powder and the liquid may be arranged separately, each in one sachet. Alternatively, the powder may be arranged with the absorbent structure directly in the container and the liquid may be arranged in a sachet. Conversely, it may be possible to arrange the powder in a sachet and to package the liquid with the absorbent structure in the container.
Further, it may be possible to successively modify, in the course of a treatment cycle, the concentration of one or more liquid components, each packaged in a distinct sachet. The container may contain a number of absorbent structures. Before taking out one of the absorbent structures, all the absorbent structures arranged in the container may be impregnated with an additional component by opening at least one additional sachet.
In the foregoing detailed description, reference was made to some particular embodiments of the invention. It is obvious that variations can be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed hereinafter.
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|U.S. Classification||206/581, 206/219|
|International Classification||B65D30/22, B65D81/32, B65D77/24, A45D44/22, A45D34/04|
|Mar 2, 2001||AS||Assignment|
|Mar 30, 2009||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Sep 20, 2009||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Nov 10, 2009||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20090920